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Art that glows

Feldhans will teach photography techniques

-Submitted photo
Photographer Roger Feldhans, of Pomeroy, created this portrait of Blander Memorial Art Museum Director Eric Anderson using various light painting techniques. Feldhans is hosting a light painting class Saturday at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park where interested photographers can learn some of the techniques. The session starts at 6:30 p.m. in the north dog training area. The class is free.

What a painter might do with a brush or a sculptor might do with a chisel, photographer Roger Feldhans, of Pomeroy, does with an assortment of LED lights and flaming steel wool.

He creates works of photographic art called light paintings.

The technique can create all manner of effects — bright glowing figures, colorful orbs and even apparent walls of flame… and giant tacos. Yes, giant tacos are an option, a wall of giant tacos, or just one.

To create the pictures, the camera shutter is left open in a dark area, then the various light painting tools are lit, moved around and they become the image.

Feldhans will be teaching the technique Saturday at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park with fellow photographer David Borer, of Webster City.

-Submitted photo
Photographer Roger Feldhans, of Pomeroy, at left, along with Keith Kutz, of Fort Dodge, demonstrate a light painting technique using burning steel wool during a teaching session last year at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

Feldhans will supply the light painting tools.

“They’ll need to bring a camera with manual controls,” Feldhans said. “Digital or film, they can even do it on a phone. They’ll also need a tripod or some other way to stabilize the camera.”

The workshop starts at 6:30 p.m. It is free.

“Bring a flashlight,” Feldhans said. “Believe it or not, it gets dark out there.”

He has been making light painting images since he was in junior high.

-Submitted photo
Photographer Roger Feldhans, of Pomeroy, created this light painting photograph in front of the Blander Memorial Art Museum in Fort Dodge. The yellow and red orb looks very much like a giant pumpkin.

“Sometime in the mid-’70s,” he joked.

Back then, it was all done on film.

“The cool part was picking up the pictures,” he said. “They would always ask, how did you do this, where was this?”

That led to a few eyebrow raising responses.

“I was on the roof of the junior high,” he said.

With digital cameras, participants can see their images right away. Some models of camera even let the photographer see the image build up bit by bit as the light painting tools are moved around.

Some of those tools are purchased. Many of them are created by Feldhans from a variety of things including plastic bubble wands and other assorted odds and ends.

If weather permits, he will even demonstrate his technique using burning steel wool. The wool is set on fire then spun in a circle. The camera captures the bright shower of sparks.

Feldhans, who’s noted for his large beard, has only been accidentally ignited once.

“Jason Liska set me on fire,” he said. “Am I going to set myself on fire? No, it’s not a goal. We’re quite safe. Ninety-nine percent of it is LED lights.”

Some of those are new creations. He hopes to be able to test them and get feedback from the participants.

The event isn’t just for photographers, Feldhans said anyone who’s interested is welcome to attend.

“They’re more than welcome to watch,” he said.

He hopes participants learn and take home some great pictures.

“If they don’t know how, they’ll learn how,” he said. “It’s instant success, that’s the part people are amazed at.”

The class starts at 6:30 p.m. in the north dog walking area.

He said they’ll be done before the park closes at 10 p.m.

“We’ll get a good two and half hours in,” he said.